The Department currently offer ten Master level programmes. These are mostly one-year, full-time courses, though part-time attendance over two years may be permitted for some of the courses. The MSc in Physics with Extended Research runs over two academic years. For more information, please visit the admissions pagesUseful information for students who are new to the department can be found in the Undergraduate Handbook.

The Department's competency standard for postgraduate MSc and MRes courses may be found in the Physics PG Competency Standard.‌

If you need to make a request for mitigating circumstances for assessed coursework (if you missed an examination because you were ill, for example) you can find the forms here for Major mitigation, where you have missed a major item of coursework such as a written examination and for minor mitigation, where you have missed a problem sheet or lab report.

If you have any problems or concerns, you can contact the Postgraduate Administrator, Loli Sanchez Rey.

Master Level Courses in the Department of Physics

All Master Qualifications include a suite of Graduate School professional skills courses

The term dates for 2016-2017 are:

  • Term 1: 1st Oct – 16th December;
  • Term 2: 7th Jan – 24th March;
  • Term 3: 29th Apr – 30th Sept.

1 ECTS = 25 work hours

Masters Courses

1. MSc in Optics and Photonics

Term 1:

Students study 4 compulsory lecture courses:

  • Imaging (6 ECTS);
  • Lasers (6 ECTS);
  • Optical Measurement and Devices (6 ECTS)

And either

  • Information Theory (3 ECTS) and Optical Communications (3 ECTS); or
  • Plasmonics and Metamaterials (6 ECTS).

The students complete a series of compulsory laboratory experiments (7 ECTS).

Term 2:

Optional courses: 24 ECTS from the following:

  • Advanced Topics in Nanophotonics (6 ECTS)
  • Laser Technology (3 ECTS);
  • Nonlinear Optics (3 ECTS);
  • Laser Optics (3 ECTS);
  • Biomedical Optics (3 ECTS);
  • Photonics Structures (3 ECTS);
  • Optical Fibre Technology (3 ECTS);
  • Optoelectronic Components and Devices (3 ECTS);
  • Optical Displays (3 ECTS);
  • Optical Design (6 ECTS);
  • Optical Design Laboratory (6 ECTS).

Students design and build a working optical system as part of their laboratory work (5 ECTS).

Students undertake a supervised ‘self-study’ literature review, assessed by a written report and a presentation (2 ECTS).

Term Three and Summer:

The students complete their 4 month project and submit a report and an assessed presentation (28 ECTS). The projects may be based at an external institution (but with an Imperial College supervisor assigned). 

Optics MSc handbook and the Optics MSc programme specification.

Students on the course will have an electronic timetable.‌

2. MSc in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces

Term 1:

Students study 4 compulsory lecture courses:

  • Quantum Electrodynamics (8 ECTS);
  • Quantum Field Theory (8 ECTS);
  • Unification – the Standard Model (8 ECTS);
  • Particle Symmetries (8 ECTS).

Students take four optional lecture courses over terms 1 and 2. In the first term the options are:

  • Differential Geometry (8 ECTS);
  • Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (6 ECTS);
  • Group Theory (6 ECTS);
  • General Relativity (6 ECTS);
  • Quantum Information (6 ECTS).

The Theoretical Physics group offers a series of seminars - students are expected to attend.

Term 2:

In January, two tests (two hours long) on the first term's courses, one on Particle Symmetries, the other examining both the QFT and Unification courses. These do not count towards the final degree result.

Students complete the Quantum Electrodynamics course.

Students complete their selection of optional courses from the following options:

  • String Theory (8 ECTS);
  • Cosmology and Particle Physics (8 ECTS);
  • Supersymmetry (8 ECTS);
  • Advanced Quantum Field Theory (8 ECTS);
  • Black Holes (8 ECTS);
  • Quantum Theory of Matter (6 ECTS).

Term 3 and Summer:

After the exams there are a series of special topics lectures. By the beginning of July students shall have chosen the topic of their dissertation, which is submitted in late September (30 ECTS).

 

3. MSc in Theory and Simulation of Materials

Term 1:

Students study 6 compulsory lecture courses:

  • Mathematics for Theory of Materials (8 ECTS);
  • Classical Field Theory of Materials (4 ECTS);
  • Electronic Structure of Materials (4 ECTS);
  • Equilibrium in Materials (4 ECTS);
  • Transformation of Materials (4 ECTS);
  • Computational Methods for Materials (3 ECTS).

Term 2:

Students study two more compulsory lecture courses:

  • Methods for Simulating Materials (8             ECTS);
  • Computational Methods for Materials (3 ECTS)

And either

  • Group Research Strategy Project; or

Group Programming Project (8 ECTS).

 

In addition students study two of the following optional courses (which develop the material taught in the first term)

  • Classical Field Theory of Materials (4 ECTS);
  • Electronic Structure of Materials (4 ECTS);
  • Equilibrium in Materials (4 ECTS);
  • Transformation of Materials (4 ECTS);

 

Term 3 and Summer:

The students undertake a literature review (9 ECTS) and a research project and submit a report and give an assessed presentation (27 ECTS).

This course is offered as part of the CDT in Theory and Simulation of Materials.

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/theoryandsimulationofmaterials

4. MRes in Plastic Electronic Materials

Term 1:

Students study 4 compulsory lecture courses:

  • Molecular and polymer chemistry (4 ECTS);
  • Material science applied to macromolecular materials (4 ECTS);
  • Molecular physics, optoelectronic processes and modelling (4 ECTS):
  • Device physics and applications of electroactive materials (4 ECTS):

Several short courses on ethics and entrepreneurship courses are given.

The students complete a literature review in preparation of their project (10 ECTS).

Term 2:

Several practical workshops organised in conjunction with, and frequently hosted by the industrial partners of the CDT.

The courses offered include (6 ECTS total):

  • Design and processing of molecular materials;
  • Structural, optical and electrical characterisation;
  • Imaging and advanced measurement of molecular electronic materials;
  • Polymer processing;
  • High volume printing;
  • Device fabrication;
  • Molecular modelling.

Students attend themed 1 and 2 day research seminars delivered by leading experts to address recent progress and challenges in a number of application areas.

Students take a further non-examined relevant Masters course from outside the CDT (2 ECTS).

The students begin their project work.

Term 3 and Summer:

Students complete their projects (56 ECTS).

This course is offered as part of the CDT in Plastic Electronics.

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/plasticelectronicsdtc

5. MRes in Controlled Quantum Dynamics

Term 1:

The students study four compulsory lecture courses;

  • Quantum Optics (6 ECTS);
  • Introductory Quantum Information Theory (6 ECTS);
    • Quantum Physics and Chemistry of Cold Matter (5 ECTS);
    • Tools for CQD (6 ECTS). This course           continues in term 2.

The students are also required to take an appropriate lecture course (6 ECTS) from another Masters course or a level 4 MSci course, in either Term 1 or Term 2.

Term 2:

The students study two further compulsory courses:

  • Experimental Realisations of Controlled       Quantum Dynamics (5 ECTS); and either
  • Advanced Quantum Information Theory or a laboratory course (5 ECTS). Students will be expected to attend both but be assessed on one.  

The students work with the CDT Outreach Officer on an Outreach project, where the students work in teams to prepare a lecture on the research carried out in the CDTs, suitable for an undergraduate audience (5 ECTS).

Term 3 and Summer:

During the third term and the summer the students will work full time on their individual research project (46 ECTS).

This course is offered as part of the CDT in Controlled Quantum Dynamics.

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/controlledquantumdynamics

6. MRes in Photonics

Term 1:

Four compulsory lecture courses:

  • Imaging (6 ECTS);
  • Lasers (6 ECTS);
  • Optical Measurement and Devices (6 ECTS)

And either

  • Information Theory (3 ECTS) and Optical Communications (3 ECTS); or
  • Plasmonics and Metamaterials (6 ECTS).

The students complete a series of compulsory laboratory experiments (6 ECTS).

Term 2:

Students may choose up to 12 ECTS worth of courses from the following optional courses. These courses will be chosen to support their project work, with the approval of their supervisor.

  • Advanced Topics in Nanophotonics (6 ECTS);
  • Laser Technology (3 ECTS);
  • Nonlinear Optics (3 ECTS);
  • Laser Optics (3 ECTS);
  • Biomedical Optics (3 ECTS);
  • Photonics Structures (3 ECTS);
  • Optical Fibre Technology (3 ECTS);
  • Optoelectronic Components and Devices (3 ECTS);
  • Optical Displays (3 ECTS);
  • Optical Design (6 ECTS);
  • Optical Design Laboratory (6 ECTS).

The students prepare a literature review and project plan for their MRes project and PhD study (if appropriate) (10 ECTS).  Project work starts in term 2.

Term Three and Summer:

The students continue their projects and submit a report and an assessed presentation (50 ECTS).

This course is offered as part of an integrated 1+3 MRes plus PhD.

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/photonics/

The Optics MSc handbook has information on the Photonics MRes, and the MRes in Photonics programme specification  has further details.

7. MSc in Physics

Term 1:

Compulsory lecture courses:

  • Mathematical Techniques (6 ECTS);
  • Advanced Classical Physics (6 ECTS).

Students who have already covered these courses in sufficient depth take an additional option.

Optional lecture courses (total 30 ECTS). All students choose five options (6 ECTS each) from the list below of specialised lecture courses, some are offered in term 2,  or courses offered by the Department’s other masters courses (please note that a few courses may not be available because of equipment or the need to have studied several pre-requisite courses).

  • Advanced Particle Physics;
  • Astrphysics;
  • Atmospheric Physics;
  • Complexity and Networks;
  • Computational Neuroscience;
  • Computational Physics;
  • Cosmology;
  • Foundations of Quantum Mechanics;
  • General Relativity;
  • Group Theory;
  • Laser Technology;
  • Nanotechnology in consumer electronics;
  • Plasma Physics;
  • Plasmonics and Metamaterials;
  • Principles of Instrumentation;
  • Quantum Field Theory;
  • Quantum Information;
  • Quantum Optics;
  • Quantum Theory of Matter;
  • Space Physics;
  • Statistical Mechanics;
  • Unification - the Standard Model.
  • Introduction to Shock PhysicsA
  • Shock Physics in ContextA

And the following courses are 3 ECTS:

    • Advanced Hydrodynamics;
    • Fluid DynamicsA;
    • Imaging Biophotonics;
    • Information Theory;
    • Lasers;
    • MI: Nuclear Diagnostics and MRI;
    • MI: X-Ray Imaging and Ultrasound;
    • Optical Communications.

 

Self Study Project (6 ECTS), a literature based project on a topic in physics.

Term 2:

Laboratory Research Skills Training (6 ECTS). In the second term the students have a series of laboratory based exercises and mini-projects, designed to teach them how to interface laboratory equipment with data analysis tools and to effectively utilise computational and numerical tools.  

Term 3:

Most of the third term and the Summer is devoted to dedicated individual project work (36 ECTS) in research groups or research laboratories.

The MSc in Physics handbook contains further details, as do the MSc in Physics programme specification, the with Extended Research programme specification, the with Nanophotonics programme specification and the with Shock Physics programme specification.

Students on the course use an electronic timetable. 

7a. MSc in Physics with Shock Physics

All courses marked with an A in the courses listed in the MSc in Physics are compulsory courses. Students will be supervised in their masters project by staff from the Institute of Shock Physics.

7b. MSc in Physics with Nanophotonics

All courses marked with an B in the courses listed in the MSc in Physics are compulsory courses, plus the Imaging and Advanced Topics in Nanophotonics courses under the MSc in Optics and Photonics. Students will undertake a research project in the field of nanophotonics.

7c. MSc in Physics with Extended Research

For the MSc in Physics with Extended Research, term 1 and 2 are identical to the MSc in Physics. In term 3 after the examinations students prepare a literature review and project plan (6 ECTS).

In the second academic year the students undertake their individual project work (60 ECTS).

8. MSc in Quantum Engineering

Term 1:

The students begin with a two week introduction to quantum mechanics followed by a two week module on systems engineering (7 ECTS).

The rest of the first term the students study the remaining foundation modules:

  • Tools for quantum engineering (theory) - 6 ECTS;
  • Tools for quantum engineering (laboratory) - 4 ECTS;
  • Quantum engineering laboratory - 3 ECTS;
  • Atoms and photons - 5 ECTS;
  • Quantum information and post-quantum cryptography - 5 ECTS.

Term 2:

The students select 18 ECTS from the optional lecture modules (each 6 ECTS):

  • Frontiers in photonics technology;
  • Information theory;
  • Metrology and navigation for QE;
  • Platforms for quantum technology.

Plus students prepare a project literature review and plan.

Term 3:

Students complete their project work (38 ECTS).

Students attend two three day workshops on Entrepreneurship (2 ECTS) and Innovation for QE (2 ECTS).

The  MSc in Quantum Engineering handbook and the MSc in Quantum Engineering programme specification may be found using the links.

 

Postgraduate Courses offered by Departmental Research Groups

In addition to the Master level courses, research groups also offer specific graduate level courses open to all post graduate students. All groups hold regular research seminars and journal clubs.

Postgraduate Courses offered by Departmental Research Groups

Astrophysics

Lectures for Postgraduates in astrophysics will cover a variety of astrophysical topics. The lectures themselves will be supplemented by a range of homework tasks to be handed in for assessment. More information will be available on the group web pages and at http://astro.ic.ac.uk/content/information-current-pg-students  PG lectures will commence in January

Experimental Solid State Physics

Each topic is 2-4hr of lectures

  • Magnetic and Electrical characterisation techniques
  • Semiconductor Growth and Characterisation
  • Nano-optics and plasmonics with inorganic semiconductors
  • Quantum Dot Growth, Characterisation and Applications:
  • Optical modelling techniques and considerations for devices and nanostructures
  • Developments in Organic thin-film Transistors
  • Electron beam lithography and Nanofabrication Facilities
  • Characterization and Simulation of sensitized solar cells
  • Experimental techniques for fabrication and characterization of organic LEDs and solar cells
  • Organic Nanostructure Control and Characterisation
  • Plasmonics and Metamaterials for Nanophotonics
  • Quantum Well Optoelectronics
  • Inorganic Photovoltaics
  • Introduction to workshop software package
  • Optical modelling techniques and considerations for devices and nanostructures (SPPs)

High Energy Physics

  • HEP Computing
  • Statistical Methods
  • Quantum Electrodynamics
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Symmetries & Groups
  • Standard Model

Topical Courses

  • Collider Physics
  • Flavour Physics
  • Neutrino Physics
  • Particle Astrophysics
  • Accelerators
  • Instrumentation

All courses are given in the first two terms.

Quantum Optics and Laser Science

Light Matter Interactions

The aim of this course is to provide training in experimental and theoretical methods used in the research of the Quantum Optics and Laser Science (QOLS) group. The course consists of two parts:

Introductory overviews (1-hour each, Term 1)

  • Safety Instructions
  • Intense laser–matter interaction
  • Ultrafast laser science
  • High power laser research
  • Probing electron dynamics in small molecules
  • Inner shell processes in molecules and clusters
  • Optimal control of quantum systems
  • Laser cooling and trapping
  • Laser cooling and dynamics of trapped ions
  • Spectroscopy of trapped ions
  • Cold molecules
  • Laser cooling of molecules
  • Quantum information
  • Quantum optics

Detailed extensions (4-hour each, Autumn/Spring Term)

  • Non-linear optics
  • Inner shell physics
  • Theoretical methods for strong-field dynamics
  • High harmonic generation and attosecond pulses
  • Photoelectron and photoion spectrometry
  • Molecular alignment and few cycle pulses

The extensions are accompanied by problems set as homework. The lecture notes and problem sheets are available on Blackboard, which is also used for communication. The timetable and syllabi of the lectures can be found on the QOLS web pages at

http://www.qols.ph.ic.ac.uk/l.j.frasinski/LMI-timetable.pdf .

Plasma Physics

Laboratory and Space Plasmas

This is a 2 term lecture course. During the first term the course covers the fundamentals of plasma physics including basic definitions, derivations of models and generalised theory.

In the second term the course covers a series of topical lectures on research activities at the forefront of plasma physics. There is also an advanced plasma theory module in the second term which is optional.

Module 1: Introduction to Plasma Physics (Basic Concepts in Plasmas, Fluid Basics, Single particle motion, drift motion, adiabatic invariants, Distribution Functions and the Vlasov Fokker Planck equation, Moments and the MHD equations)

Module 2: Waves and Transport in Plasmas (Waves in fluid plasmas, Collisions in Plasmas, Transport in Plasmas, Waves in Kinetic Plasmas)

Module 3: MagnetoHydroDynamics (Ideal MHD, resistive diffusion and equilibria, Waves in MHD plasmas, MHD stability theory)

Module 4: Plasma techniques (Computational methods in plasma physics, Mathematical methods in plasma physics, Experimental Diagnostic Techniques, High Power Lasers)

Module 5: Introduction to Research Topics in Plasma Physics

(Laser Plasma Interactions, Laser Plasma Interactions at Ultra-high Intensities, Inertial Confinement Fusion, Tokamaks, Dusty and Industrial Plasmas, Ionospheres in the Solar System, Z Pinches, Astrophysical plasmas / plasma turbulence, Generating x-rays from relativistic charged particle beams, Introduction to Shocks and Equations of State, Laboratory Astrophysics)

Module 6: Advanced Plasma Theory (Radiative and atomic processes in plasmas, Advanced theory of laser plasma interactions, Advanced theory of inertial confinement fusion, Advanced Theory of magnetically confined plasmas, Radiation Hydrodynamics)

Space and Atmospheric Physics

Each topic involves two 1.5hr of lecture

 The core research topics covered are:

  • Basic Plasma Physics
  • Ocean circulation and ocean-atmosphere interactions
  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
  • Heliospheric Physics
  • Solar wind interactions with planetary bodies  
  • Atmospheric Radiation and Thermodynamics
  • Atmospheric Composition and Climate
  • Planetary Atmospheres
  • Climate Change
  • Instrumentation
  • Data analysis
  • Carbon Cycle